Diverse patterns of myocardial fibrosis in lifelong, veteran endurance athletes.
ABSTRACT This study examined the cardiac structure and function of a unique cohort of documented lifelong, competitive endurance veteran athletes (>50 yr). Twelve lifelong veteran male endurance athletes [mean ± SD (range) age: 56 ± 6 yr (50-67)], 20 age-matched veteran controls [60 ± 5 yr; (52-69)], and 17 younger male endurance athletes [31 ± 5 yr (26-40)] without significant comorbidities underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to assess cardiac morphology and function, as well as CMR imaging with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) to assess myocardial fibrosis. Lifelong veteran athletes had smaller left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes (P < 0.05), but maintained LV and RV systolic function compared with young athletes. However, veteran athletes had a significantly larger absolute and indexed LV and RV end-diastolic and systolic volumes, intraventricular septum thickness during diastole, posterior wall thickness during diastole, and LV and RV stroke volumes (P < 0.05), together with significantly reduced LV and RV ejection fractions (P < 0.05), compared with veteran controls. In six (50%) of the veteran athletes, LGE of CMR indicated the presence of myocardial fibrosis (4 veteran athletes with LGE of nonspecific cause, 1 probable previous myocarditis, and 1 probable previous silent myocardial infarction). There was no LGE in the age-matched veteran controls or young athletes. The prevalence of LGE in veteran athletes was not associated with age, height, weight, or body surface area (P > 0.05), but was significantly associated with the number of years spent training (P < 0.001), number of competitive marathons (P < 0.001), and ultraendurance (>50 miles) marathons (P < 0.007) completed. An unexpectedly high prevalence of myocardial fibrosis (50%) was observed in healthy, asymptomatic, lifelong veteran male athletes, compared with zero cases in age-matched veteran controls and young athletes. These data suggest a link between lifelong endurance exercise and myocardial fibrosis that requires further investigation.
Sports Medicine 09/1993; 16(2):73-9. · 5.16 Impact Factor
Article: Comparison of different quantification methods of late gadolinium enhancement in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There is no consensus regarding the technique of quantification of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). The aim of the study was to compare different methods of LGE quantification in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Cardiac magnetic resonance was performed in 33 patients with HCM. First, LGE was quantified by visual assessment by the team of experienced readers and compared with different thresholding techniques: from 1SD to 6SD above mean signal intensity (SI) of remote myocardium, above 50% of maximal SI of the enhanced area (full-width at half maximum, FWHM) and above peak SI of remote myocardium. LGE was present in 25 (78%) of patients. The median mass of LGE varied greatly depending on the quantification method used and was highest with the utilization of 1SD threshold [75.5 g, interquartile range (IQR): 63.3-112.3g] and lowest for FWHM method (8.4 g, IQR: 4.3-13.3g). There was no difference in mass of LGE as assessed with 6SD threshold and FWHM when compared to visual assessment (p=0.19 and p=0.1, respectively); all other thresholding techniques provided significant differences in the median LGE size when compared to visual analysis. Results for all thresholds, except FWHM were significantly correlated with visual assessment with the strongest correlation for 6SD (rho=0.956, p<0.0001). LGE quantification with the use of a threshold of 6SD above the mean SI of the remote myocardium provided the best agreement with visual assessment in patients with HCM.European journal of radiology 07/2009; 74(3):e149-53. · 2.65 Impact Factor
Article: Coronary atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk in masters male marathon runners. Rationale and design of the "marathon study".[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Regular physical exercise is recommended to reduce cardiovascular mortality. And yet, atherosclerosis is the main cause of exercise-associated death in persons beyond age 35. The need for risk stratification in marathon runners is under discussion. The predictive value of modern imaging- and non-imaging-based markers of risk that can be used for risk stratification in masters endurance athletes still deserves exploration. Male runners > 50 years who have completed at least five marathon races during the preceding 3 years and do not suffer from coronary artery disease, angina nor diabetes mellitus are studied to assess the predictive value of established and modern imaging- based and biochemical cardiovascular risk factors. Laboratory parameters including clinical chemistry, hematology and hormone measurements are determined. Lifestyle-related risk factors, psychosocial and socioeconomic variables are explored using standardized questionnaires. Coronary, carotid, femoral and aortic atherosclerosis is measured using electronbeam computed tomography and ultrasound. In addition, a resting ECG, a bicycle stress test and heart rate variability are performed. Myocardial morphology and function are assessed using echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging. Participants are invited to compete in a marathon race to quantify the association of coronary atherosclerosis with marathon-related changes of cardiac troponin levels and the extent of marathon-induced inflammation. At the cellular level, the effect on the amount of circulating progenitor cells (EPCs) is determined by FACS analysis. Changes in laboratory parameters and hormone levels are also studied. Annual long-term follow-up including hospital records and death certificates is performed. Data are compared with those from a general unselected cohort from the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study. This study should contribute to cardiovascular risk assessment in the growing number of masters marathon runners with a focus on assessing the predictive value of modern imaging techniques and biochemical markers for comprehensive risk stratification.Herz 10/2006; 31(6):575-85. · 0.92 Impact Factor